Defending Yorkshire’s sacking of Johnny Wardle four days after the left-arm spinner’s selection for the 1958-59 Ashes tour, Brian Sellers, the Yorkshire cricket chairman, bellowed: “He may be good enough for England, but not for Yorkshire.”
Finch and Maxwell may be good enough for Australia, but they did not suit Yorkshire’s purposes this week.
Finch was sent off to play for the second team as he continues his comeback following a hamstring injury, while Maxwell was granted a few days off after a frustrating and frenetic start to his Yorkshire career.
As bad luck would have it, Finch’s quest for form and fitness in the second team game at Worcestershire yesterday incorporated an unexpected trip to Redditch Hospital.
The 28-year-old got an inside-edge into his ribs while trying to pull a ball from Worcestershire’s Chris Russell and had to retire hurt in the match at Barnt Green.
Yorkshire were last night awaiting the result of a scan as misfortune once again visited Finch, who had only recently returned to action after damaging his left hamstring while playing in the Indian Premier League.
The plan had been for Finch to get some runs under his belt in the Midlands with a view to him returning for next week’s Championship encounter at leaders Durham, when Yorkshire will be without Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance due to England’s pre-Ashes training camp.
After Yorkshire had the better of a rain-hit opening day against Nottinghamshire, reducing their opponents to 169-8 in the 47.3 overs possible, director of cricket Martyn Moxon explained the thinking behind leaving out Finch and Maxwell, only one of whom could have played here due to regulations regarding overseas players.
“We gave it a lot of thought, but we had Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth available, Jack Leaning has been one of our best players this season, we don’t really want to leave Alex Lees out, and we need to play a ’keeper, so there weren’t too many options,” said Moxon.
“Finchy hasn’t played a lot of cricket since he came back from his hamstring injury, so we thought it would be better for him to play in the second team and spend a bit of time building up his hamstring again, and hopefully get a long knock with a view to him being ready for Durham.
“Maxi (Maxwell) has not had a day off and is just cricket mad; he’s played second-team cricket, first-team cricket, and we just thought it was better for him to go and have a few days off.
“He’s gone down to the south coast to have a bit of a rest from cricket, and hopefully he’ll come back fresh for our T20 game at Leicester on Friday.
“We also want to back our home-grown players. We want to back people like Jack Leaning, who has played really well this season and deserves to play.
“Finchy and Maxi are quality players, and for different reasons they’ve not yet had the output of runs.
“Finchy had only just started again after injury, while Maxi has played a lot of cricket lately all over the world, so we’re trying to look at it from a long-term point of view in an effort to get the best out of them.”
Despite having significant pressure on their resources, Yorkshire show no sign of fading in Championship cricket.
Moxon is first to admit they have yet to hit top gear this season, but their existing gear is pretty handy; they went into this match in third place, 33 points behind leaders Durham with two games in hand.
After inserting Notts on an overcast morning, Yorkshire took 55 minutes to strike before turning the screw.
Brendan Taylor and Steven Mullaney added 43 for the first wicket before Taylor pushed forward to Steve Patterson and was caught by Lees at first slip. Tim Bresnan trapped Michael Lumb, and when James Taylor was adjudged caught behind off Patterson for a golden duck – much to the Nottinghamshire captain’s consternation – the visitors had lost 3-10 in 22 balls.
Ryan Sidebottom, playing his first Championship game since damaging his left calf in the opening match, had Mullaney caught behind just before lunch by Andrew Hodd, who will be replaced halfway through this game by Jonny Bairstow when he returns tomorrow from England duty.
Jack Brooks trapped Samit Patel and Will Gidman straight after the break, and Sidebottom pinned Riki Wessels before rain descended at 2.28pm. Play resumed at 6pm with Notts 139-7, and they lost Stuart Broad when he was caught at third slip by Leaning off a magnificent delivery from Bresnan.
Scorecard: Page 18.